Her career is blooming. She just finished shooting an Afrikaans movie Skaapboer, she is also one of the guest judges to appear on the new cooking reality show Colour Your Plate with KOO, which premiered on 6 October.
This year also marks 17 years since Nobuhle Mimi Mahlasela (39) started playing the role of the bubbly and caring Aggie Ngwenya-Meintjies on the SABC 2 soapie 7de Laan.
“Playing Aggie and going through trials and tribulations with her has been so fulfilling,” she tells Drum.
“I am happy, but I still feel there is a lot I can still on the show with the character.”
Not only is she in front of the camera but also works behind the scenes, training and directing.
“Which gives me more room to be creative and we do a lot of in-house training and there is room for growth.”
On the reality cooking show Colour Your Plate with KOO where she will be a guest judge, Mimi says she got to step out of her soapie comfort zone and try something new.
“I am a guest judge of episode seven. It was fun to be in a different set. It was also hectic to shoot a cooking show, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time there."
Mimi admits to not being too adventurous when it comes to food and is a fussy eater.
“I always prefer to cook for myself because I am a fussy eater. But, I love meat, I also love potatoes in any shape or form. It’s my biggest obsession. I love veggies; spinach and pumpkin are my favourite.”
As a fuller figured woman, people tend to assume she eats a lot.
“I love my body. I have embraced my figure. People tend to think that all plus-size women eat a lot and that is not the case. I know it’s genetic and has very little to do with unhealthy eating habits.”
Being in the limelight means she gets many compliments about her acting but is also criticised for being a fuller figured woman.
“I love and embrace myself. I have come to love myself for who I am, and it took me a long time,” she says. As confident as she is in her skin, at times being body-shamed affects her.
“I have insecurities all the time until today. But as I grow, every day I gain a bit of confidence to love the skin I am in and the body I am in,” she says. “And every day is different. I sometimes wake up and write a post that motivates me for the rest of the day and at times I just want to stay in bed.”
Mimi has spoken openly about her battle with depression and attempting suicide.
“I am much better. It all starts in the mind and waking up every morning to tell myself that I am going to have a good day. I used to wake up thinking I am not good enough. I used to think I am not worthy of what I have got and what I have achieved. That mindset drowned me into a dark hole.”
Mimi says most of her depression was due to childhood traumas. On the YouTube show Unpacked with Relebogile Mabotja, she shared her experience with being sexually assaulted and how keeping the secret for a long time made her depressed.
“I carried the feeling of shame and not being able to talk about being sexually abused. I felt ashamed to talk about it.” This year, she started therapy to deal with her past traumas.
“It takes a lot to get out of bed and to go to work when you have depression. But I am grateful that I started therapy in February. It just means that I go back and address past traumas.”
Mimi says she recently had an anxiety attack and she cried before leaving the house for work.
“Luckily I have group therapy. I’ve always known that I’ve had to go to therapy for a long time, but only started going this year,” she says. “It’s amazing to have a support system because I can pick up the phone and call someone.
“I wasn’t put on any medication and my therapist trusted us to work through my depression and to trust the spirit. I just take it one day at a time because some days are different.”
Mimi believes to heal she needs to take put in the work.
“I realised that I have to do the work on myself to try and get better. I do a lot of activities that make me happy, like gardening and listening to music. I do calming activities that keep me in a calm space and thinking positively and just channel my energy in a positive direction. But I have learned to own my depression. It took me a long time.”
In the future, she would love to speak about it on public platforms. “But I am still working on myself.”
This year Mimi hopes to fall pregnant with her first baby.
“I definitely want to have a child now, I am ready,” she says.
“I have put it off for so long. I am now 39 and, in a few months, I will turn 40. I’m a bit late, and it’s now time,” she giggles.
“My plan is to hopefully fall pregnant by the end of the year, so I have a lot of work to do.”
She knows she is ready because she longs to have warm baby cuddles.
“I look at my sister and my friends with their children and I long for the feeling of taking care of a precious little soul. I want to give them so much love because I have so much to give.”
Over the years, Mimi says she has been focusing on her career and was not ready for children.
“I was focusing on the work, the career, getting this and that. Planning to have this much money because I don’t want to fail, but now I’m ready. I hope for a baby boy, but I’d be happy to have a happy and beautiful child,” she says.